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First Thoughts: Gangsta – Sharp Eyes And A Silver Tongue


This is the Anime adaptation I’ve been waiting for…and within one episode it has reached my incredibly high expectations. There aren’t many Anime series’ out there that can do THAT! If you can’t quite tell what Anime I’m talking about, you’ve clearly not read the article title. We’re talking about Gangsta, dammit! The Anime adaptation of Kohske’s hit gangland Manga series by the same name.

As a man who’s read and reviewed all the available Manga volumes to date, loving each and every one of them, my excitement for this Anime series was almost uncontrollable…but then so were my expectations which, funily enough, didn’t lead me astray. I was assured, by the series itself, that it would translate into Anime well, and…holy crap, it did!

By now you really should know the story of Gangsta but for those of you who don’t; the series revolves around two men living in a city populated by criminals, scumbags, hitmen, gangsters, and everything else you could imagine from a town run entirely by four different mafia families. The two men I mentioned? Nic and Warwick; they’re a neutral party calling themselves “Handymen” who’ll do anything so long as they’re paid appropriately. For the most part, that’s all you need to know about Gangsta at this point in time. I know for a fact, the Manga has several story layers that gradually get uncovered and, from what was shown in episode one, this new Anime will unfold in much the same way.


Episode one covered most of the contents of the Manga’s first volume and did it great justice. There wasn’t too much dialogue and, in all honesty, there didn’t need to be. Every line spoken was written with a great deal of purpose meaning that there was nothing there that didn’t need to be said, and there was no unnecessary exposition. It was written meticulously and it was, in fact, the lack of dialogue that really drove home certain points.

Backing up the masterful story telling is that of the visuals which were smooth yet fantastically gritty, suiting the series to an absolute tee. The Anime perfectly mirrors Kohske’s artistic style and the ways in which the characters move are exactly the ways I imagined while reading the Manga. The same can also be said about the voice cast who each bring their respective characters to life in practically perfect ways. Most notably was Nic who, when speaking, is incredibly intimidating and sounds almost exactly the way he did in my own head while reading the Manga.


The soundtrack was probably my most favoured aspect of the episode because of the fantastic use of smooth jazz to both set the scene and drive home some serious intensity. Darker than, let’s say, that of Cowboy Bebop’s soundtrack, Gangsta had a similar set of jazz tracks that featured heavy drumming rather than piercing trumpets. Who ever edited the audio of episode one should absolutely get a promotion because they’re placement of music was, to say the very least, absolutely spectacular. It dropped when it needed to and it cut back in at ideal moments, the way every soundtrack should but not every soundtrack does.

Gangsta blew me away. It destroyed my expectations and has allowed me to gloat, telling everyone I recommended it to that I was totally right about how damn good it would be. Every character translates perfectly into Anime and I’m hoping the coming story follows suit. I cannot wait for the upcoming episodes because just as much as I need Shonen series like Ushio And Tora, I also need a darker series like Gangsta right now. A perfect Manga has become a perfect Anime. Don’t be the one who misses out on it!

Plunge into the gritty and violent underbelly of society in Gangsta. Watch it now on AnimeLab.



  1. I can feel so much of your excitement just reading this, looking forward to the discussion in the next podcast :P

    I’m so happy with this first episode also! It’s gonna be hard waiting a week between episodes for this – especially when it gets beyond what I’ve read of the manga.

    • Frank Inglese says

      It was hard to contain my excitement!
      You can bet we’ll be discussing the new Anime season as a whole on this upcoming podcast but I can see Gangsta being the true highlight. :)

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